Rāmāyana | Yuddha Kaṇḍa | Chapter 111

111. Mandodarī Wails

[Mandodarī, the chief wife of Rāvaṇa wails. Rāma asks Vibhīṣaṇa to perform Obsequies to Rāvaṇa. Vibhīṣaṇa refuses saying that Rāvaṇa was a bad person. Rāma convinces him that he is wrong. The funeral is then performed as per Vedic rites.]

When the consorts of that Rākṣasa were wailing, his darling and senior most wife stared at her husband in a pitiable manner. 111.1

Seeing that ten necked one who has been killed by Rāma of matchless deeds, Mandodarī lamented in a miserable manner. 111.2

"Oh great one, oh brother of Kubera, when you are angry, even Indra does not dare to stand before you." 111.3

"Sages, Brahmins, the famous Chāraṇas Gandharvas, have fled in different directions because they were scared of you." 111.4

"Oh God of Rākṣasas, oh king, how is it that you are not ashamed, having been conquered by a mere human being in the battle." 111.5

"How come you, who have won over all the three worlds by your valour and who is irresistible, has been killed by a man, who wanders in the forest?" 111.6

"It is not possible for Rāma who wandered in inaccessible places to men to kill you who could assume any form you wish, in a battle." 111.7

"I am not able to believe in this act of Rāma in the battle front, nor do I believe that he can attack you and your army was fully equipped with all weapons." 111.8

"As soon as Rāma in Janasṭhāna killed your brother Khara surrounded by many Rākṣasas it was evident that Rāma was not a mere mortal." 111.9

"We felt pained at the time when Hanuman entered the city of Lanka, which even gods find difficult to enter, by his valour." 111.10

"On the day on which those horrible monkeys built a bridge over the great ocean, I believed that Rāma was not an ordinary human being." 111.11

"Possibly Yama the God of death had arranged a great illusion and must have come in the form of Rāma." 111.12

"Or possibly Indra has come and overpowered you in this battle but Indra does not have even the capacity to look at your face." 111.13

"This Rāma is certainly a great yogi, a person without beginning, having no start, middle or end, greater than distinguished universal spirit like Brahma, the one beyond ignorance, the one who nourishes, one who wields conch, a disc and a mace, wearing the 'Śrīvatsa' mark on his chest, of lasting beauty, incapable of being conquered, a perpetual one, being the constant soul of the universe, truly mighty, the lord of all the worlds, the prosperous one having a great splendour and Vishnu, the lord of maintenance of the world with a wish to benefit the worlds, assuming a human form surrounded by all the gods in the form of monkeys, Rāma killed you, surrounded by demons." 111.14-111.17

"Once you controlled all your senses and won over the three worlds and as if the senses have become your enemy, they have conquered you now." 111.18

"The moment your brother Khara was killed by Rāma in Janasṭhāna, even though he was surrounded by a multitude of Rākṣasas, it became evident that Rāma was really no mortal. We felt perturbed, the moment Hanuman entered, by dint of his prowess, deeply into the City of Lanka, which was difficult to be entered even for gods." 111.19-111.20

"I had advised you not to have enmity with Rāghava and at that time some evil came upon you and you did not heed my advice." 111.21

"Oh great Rākṣasa, you accidentally developed a desire for Sītā which has led to the destruction of your power and your own people." 111.22

"Oh evil minded person, Sītā is much distinguished and respectable than Arundhati as well as Rohiṇī and an unworthy act was done by you against her." 111.23

"O my lord, who destroyed you and your people and it is Sītā the model of forbearance even to the Goddess Earth and a model of grace to Lakshmi. She is extremely fond of her husband. By a recourse to a fraud in bringing that Sītā in a lonely forest, faultless in every limb as she was, and charming though miserable, and having failed to fulfil your desire for union with Sītā and due to your own fault you have been surely consumed by the penance of that woman, devoted as she was to her husband." 111.24-111.25

"It is because of the great fear that Indra as well as the fire God had against, that you were not burnt while trying to lay your hand on Sītā, who is a lady with slender waist." 111.26

"The harsh fruits of sin committed would definitely be reaped by the person, without any doubt when the time comes." 111.27

"One who performs auspicious acts becomes happy and the one who does sin gets misery. While Vibhīṣaṇa became happy you became miserable." 111.28

"There are many prettier women than Sītā in your harem and having fallen as prey to the power of passion, you did not know it through ignorance." 111.29

"Sītā is not equal to me either by heritage, form or nature of amiability but you did not realize it because of your infatuation." 111.30

"For every being there is no death without any cause and to you this Sītā has become the cause of your death." 111.31

"You have invited that death for which Sītā was the cause from a far-off distance and now freed from her sorrow Sītā would enjoy herself with Rāma." 111.32

"I am however, whose stock of blessed deeds was less, have fallen into a terrific ocean of sorrow. I, who having enjoyed myself with you in suitable aerial cars in Mount Kailāśa, mount Mandāra, Mount Meru and in a grove named Chaitraratha and in all celestial gardens, decked as I was with lovely garlands and clad in colourful robes and invested in matchless splendour, visiting and seeing various lands of every description have now been deprived of all those sense- enjoyments because of your death. Because of that, I stand transformed into another form as it were. Woe to the changing fortunes of kings." 111.33-111.35

"Alas, oh king, That face of yours which was so tender, Oh, and the distinguished charming eye- brows of yours, a gloss surface, having an exceptionally prominent nose, coppery lips and brilliant ear-rings, which vie with the moon, the lotus and the sun in beauty. Light and lustre, was illuminated by a number of crowns which shined, with its eyes wild and rolling through inebriety in banqueting places, your body that bore garlands of various kinds, was lovely and charming in every way and it was lit with a captivating smile and indulged in a delightful talk and that face of yours does not actually shine as before today pierced with Rāma's arrows, it lies dyed with streams of blood. It has its marrow shattered and has got soiled through the dust raised by the chariots." 111.36-111.39

"Being a stupid women I never at any time thought that I would become a widow and that state has come to me now." 111.40

"I was always proud that my father was a king of Rākṣasas, my husband was the lord of Rākṣasas and my son was the conqueror of Devas." 111.41

"I always believed that my lords were capable of defeating arrogant enemies, as they were all heroes, renowned for their strength and valour as such I had no fear from any direction." 111.42

"How did this unknown danger come to you, who are so powerful, oh greatest Rākṣasa, from a man?" 111.43

"O king! The body of yours which was really dark as glossy sapphire, gigantic like a lofty mountain and resplendent with Keyuras and Angadas and necklace of cat's eye-gems and pearls and wreaths of flowers which used to be more charming during your pleasure-walks and dazzling in battle-fields and that body which shined with lustre of jewels as a rainy cloud with flashes of lightning lies with numerous sharp arrows today. Though it will be difficult for me to touch it again, it is no longer possible for me to embrace it. It has tendons cut to pieces, by arrows of Rāma, dug deep into your vital parts and closely transfixed like the spines of a porcupine. Though dark of complexion, it is now transformed into the colour of blood and lies fallen on the ground like a mountain broken into pieces when hit by a stroke of thunder-bolt." 111.44-111.48

"Is it a dream or reality? Have you been truly killed by Rāma? You were death even to death and then how is it possible you to leave this falling under clutches of death?" 111.49

"He enjoyed the wealth of all the three worlds and he made all the three worlds greatly scared. He conquered the guardians of different directions and lifted up even Lord Śaṅkara." 111.50

"He held down those who were arrogant and by exhibiting his prowess shook the worlds and made living being weep by his roars." 111.51

"He used to say arrogant words in the presence of his enemies, he used to protect his army and servants and was the killer of those who did terrible deeds." 111.52

"He used to kill the king of Dānavas and thousands of Yakṣas and he used fight with the Rākṣasas called Nivathakavachas." 111.53

"He used to conduct several Yagnas and was protecting his own people. He used to break tenets of Dharma and used to show conjuring tricks in the battle field." 111.54

"He used to bring virgin daughters of devas, Asuras and men from here and there. He used to make enemy wives mourn and he was the leader of his own people." 111.55

"He used to look after the island of Lanka, executed terrible deeds and one who gratifies our desires and sexual needs and he was an expert fighter from chariot." 111.56

"After seeing my husband of such great power killed by Rāma, I am hard hearted to still bear his body." 111.57

"Oh king of the Rākṣasas after having slept on beds of luxury, why are lying on the ground covered with dust." 111.58

"When Indrajit, your son was killed in the battle by Lakṣmaṇa, I was hardly hit but today I am completely broken down." 111.59

"Without any relations, and oh Lord forsaken by you and deprived of sensual satisfaction I shall keep on being sad for many years to come. 111.60

"Oh king you have embarked today on a very long and difficult journey and since I am suffering with great sorrow, please take me with you, for I cannot survive without you." 111.61

"Why do you want to go leaving me who is greatly miserable here? Why are you not talking to me who is sad and wailing and who is unfortunate?" 111.62

"Oh Lord, are you not angry to see me, having come out of the city gate on bare foot and also without my veil?" 111.63

"Why did not get in to great rage on seeing all your wives who had come without a veil, Oh darling of your wives?" 111.64

"This Mandodarī who was helping in your love sports is weeping helplessly and you are not bothered to console her. Do you not respect her?" 111.65

"Many noble women who were greatly devoted to their husbands, who were following tenets of Dharma and also intent on service to elders, have been widowed by you, Oh king. And they tormented by great sorrow must have cursed you and possibly that curse of those virtuous women, who were wronged by you, might have taken away your life." 111.66-111.67

Possibly the proverb that, "The tears of wives who follow virtue do not fall on the ground in vain" has become true in your case, "Oh king." 111.68

"How was it possible for you to do the mean act of abducting a lady, because you had invaded the three worlds with your great power and were proud of it." 111.69

"It was indeed a mark of your cowardice that Rāma's consort was borne away by you, after luring away Rāma from his hermitage in the pretext of deer" 111.70

"I have never heard cowardly acts by you any time in the battle field and so I feel that the abduction of Sītā was done by your bad luck as a result of your sins." 111.71

"Oh mighty armed one, Whatever my younger brother-in-law, Vibhīṣaṇa who knows matters relating to the past and of the future and also conversant with the present had said after reflecting and sighing for long, on seeing Sītā abducted by you: “The destruction of the chiefs among the demons now is imminent" and these have now become true words. This misfortune had come from the lust, wrath and addiction to the vice of deep attachment." 111.72-111.74

"Because of you, our roots have been cut off, leading to a great disaster and you have made the race of Rākṣasas without a protector." 111.75

"I should not lament about you who are famous for your strength and masculinity but being feminine in nature my mind leans towards melancholy." 111.76

"You attained this state of affairs by your good and bad deeds and I am grieving because I am sad about your death." 111.77

"Oh Rāvaṇa, you did not bother to follow the advice of your friends, who were your well-wishers and you also did not follow the advice of your brothers." 111.78

"You did not follow the advice of Vibhīṣaṇa which was logical, meaningful, based on right conduct, gentle and well founded." 111.79

"You who were arrogant of your strength did not follow the advice of Mārīcha, Kumbhakarṇa, myself and my father and what happened was this bitter consequence." 111.80

"My lord, resembling a dark cloud in colour, clad in yellow silk and decked with brilliant armlets, why are you lying with your limbs, cast away on the ground and bathed in blood?" 111.81

"Why are you fast asleep and not replying me who is sad and, who is the granddaughter of the clever Yātudhāna the Rākṣasa who has extraordinary valour and never retreated in a battle." 111.82

"Get up, get up, why are you lying down as if you have been insulted again? The rays of the Sun have already penetrated the city of Lanka without any fear." 111.83

"Torn into thousand pieces, that iron rod of yours, which was brilliant as the sun, which was like a thunderbolt of Indra, with which you killed your enemies in the battle-field, which was constantly honoured by you, which had struck many in the battles and which was decked with gold, lies scattered." 111.84-111.85

"Why are you lying down embracing the earth like one embraces his beloved? Why are you not replying me just like I am not liked by you?" 111.86

"Woe to me, for my heart is not bursting to pieces though I am tormented with grief because you have merged with the five elements of the earth." 111.87

With her eyes filled up with tears, after she wailed like this, with her heart made wet with love she then swooned. 111.88

Then that dispirited one who was stricken with sorrow fell on the chest of Rāvaṇa and she shined like a flash of lightning across the rainy cloud, reddened by the flow of dusk. 111.89

Lifting up Mandodarī who was bitterly weeping, her co- wives who were also weeping and who were also equally distressed tried to console her. 111.90

"Oh Queen do you not know the uncertain nature of this world and you also know that the wealth of the kings are unsteady, which changes along with their fate and time." 111.91

While they were trying to console her this way, she with copious tears from her pure face and moistened her breasts and wept aloud for a moment. 111.92

In the meanwhile, Rāma spoke to Vibhīṣaṇa as follows: "Let the obsequies of your brother be performed and let these groups of women be consoled." 111.93

When the great one spoke like this, the intelligent Vibhīṣaṇa, the expert in Dharma after thinking about using his brain replied in conformity with Dharma and his own good. 111.94

"I am not fit to perform the obsequies of him, who has abandoned the penance of Dharma, who was cruel, who was a cheater and who desired the wives of others." 111.95

"This Rāvaṇa who did ill to everyone, though he is my brother, is not fit for this honour even though he is an elder whom I should worship." 111.96

"All the people in this world may call me ruthless but if they heard about all his qualifies they will say that what I did was good." 111.97

Rāma who is the best among those who follows Dharma and who was an excellent speaker was very much pleased by what was told by Vibhīṣaṇa told. 111.98

"Oh king of Rākṣasas, I have been able to win this war because of your help and so it is proper for me to give you proper advice." 111.99

"This Rākṣasa, though he is full of Adharma [unrighteousness], was a lustrous, strong and a brave warrior in battle." 111.100

"I have heard that the Indra and others could not defeat that great one blessed with strength and who made people cry." 111.101

"All enmities end with death and there is nothing that has been left unaccomplished. Let the funeral rites be performed. He is as much mine as yours." 111.102

"According to laws of religion, that ten necked one should get the obsequies done by you and you will become very famous." 111.103

After having heard the words of Rāghava, Vibhīṣaṇa hastily started to perform the obsequies of his brother Rāvaṇa in a suitable manner, 111.104

Then that Vibhīṣaṇa entered the city of Lanka and quickly concluded the Agnihotra [worship of fire] being conducted by Rāvaṇa. 111.105

Vibhīṣaṇa actually arranged for, carts, excellent varieties of firewood, the three sacred fires and the priests required to officiate at the obsequies, logs of sandalwood, various types of firewood, pieces of fragrant aloe-wood, odorous perfumes, as well as gems, pearls and corals. 111.106- 111.107

He came back soon surrounded by the Rākṣasas and along with Mālyavān [Maternal grandfather of Rāvaṇa] started the rites of Obsequies. 111.108

Placing Rāvaṇa, the lord of Rākṣasas, who was covered with cloth made of plant, accompanied by blasts of various musical instruments as well as panegyrists singing his fame, the Brahmans stood around him with their faces filled in tears. Lifting up that palanquin, which had been decorated with colourful flags and flowers and taking up blocks of wood, all the Rākṣasas for their part, with Vibhīṣaṇa in front, proceeded with their face turned towards the south. 111.109-111.111

The sacrificial fires were lit and relit by the Adhvaryu priests and at that time the fire was contained in earthen pots and went in front of Rāvaṇa's body. 111.112

All women of his harem speedily followed him weeping stumbling and jumping from all sides. 111.113

Keeping the body of Rāvaṇa on a consecrated spot, Vibhīṣaṇa and others, who were very much afflicted with grief, piled up a sacred pyre, with logs of sandalwood, moistened with perfumes called Padmaka and Koshira and covered with the skin of black antelopes, turned to perform the obsequies in accordance with Vedic rites in honour of the king. 111.114-111.115

Rāvaṇa's oblations as prescribed by manes were conducted in a perfectly way. A platform was constructed in the south east and the sacred fire was placed on it in a proper way. 111.116

They poured a ladle-full of ghee mixed with curds on his shoulders, placed a cart at his feet and then a wooden mortar at his thighs. 111.117

Having set at their proper place, all the wooden vessels, the lower piece of wood used for kindling fire at a sacrifice and the upper piece of wood [which is rotated at great speed on to lower one, to produce fire by friction], the wooden pestle and other things used in the sacrifice, they circled around the funeral pyre. 111.118

As per the rules laid down in the Śāstras by the great sages, a goat was sacrificed at that spot and the Rākṣasas, spread the limbs of dead goat dampened with ghee on the king of the Rākṣasas. 111.119-111.120

Having decorated the body of Rāvaṇa with perfumes, garlands and various kinds of clothes, those Rākṣasas accompanied by Vibhīṣaṇa, distressed as they were in their minds, poured parched grains of rice, with their faces bathed in tears. 111.121-111.122

That Vibhīṣaṇa set fire to Rāvaṇa, according to rules in Vedas. Washing himself and offering in his wet clothes, according to scriptural ordinance, sesame seeds mixed with water, as well as blades of Kuśa grass and offering obeisance to Rāvaṇa by bowing his head, Vibhīṣaṇa entreated those women to return, consoling them again and again. Then all of them returned to City. 111.123-111.125

After the women re-entered the city, that Vibhīṣaṇa, came near Rāma and remained standing there with humility. 111.126

Rāma along with his army, Sugrīva and Lakṣmaṇa was happy as he had killed his enemy and felt like Indra after killing Vritra. 111.127

Then after taking out the bow and arrows, the armour given to him by Indra and after giving away his great anger since he has killed his enemy Rāma assumed a look of charming benevolence. 111.128

This is the end of One Hundred and Eleventh Sarga of Yuddha Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.